If you have never tried dates from Malaysia, be prepared to be amazed. This dessert-like fruit has become an international favorite and a staple in many cuisines. From India to Thailand, from France to Italy, from West Indies to East Asia, people have enjoyed this juicy-sweet fruit throughout the centuries.
Desserts in general are very popular in the Indian culture, but dates is the original gift of India to its neighbors. The best quality products come directly from the Indian fruit markets. Producing quality dates requires a lot of care, which the locals excel in. The soil needs to be nourished with organic fertilizers and watered at least six to seven times each year. The sun must also be kept up for the fruit to ripen properly.
Onions, garlic and tomatoes are added to the mix to add more flavor to the product. When the dates are ripened, they can be used right away or stored for later use. The best quality dates come from Penang, Malaysia, which is located in the southern part of Borneo. Local produce makes for fresher, tastier products. With a little bit of research and the right supplier, quality dates are available at reasonable prices in Malaysia.
As a general rule, the longer the fruit ripens, the better it is. Drying is a very important aspect of the quality of any fruit that needs to be maintained for optimal quality control. Drying the dates at a high temperature is one way to speed the drying process without sacrificing the color or the flavor of the fruit. Local produce has excellent quality control because it is grown in the fields directly from seed, avoiding pesticides.
Drying is a very labor-intensive process. Long hours are needed to dry these fruits in traditional woven baskets called tuns, without damage to the skin or the nutrients. In rural areas where the tradition of drying dates is part of family traditions, family members know what the most desirable dates are and how to get them from local suppliers. Today, many Malaysian families grow their own dates and their own trees to supply them with dates, making it very hard for local suppliers to keep up with the demand. However, there is an abundant supply of fresh, quality, dried fruits from Malaysia and other tropical fruit regions.
For those who are interested in purchasing dates, locally grown, unripe fruit trees can be purchased at relatively low cost. A variety of trees including but not limited to manuka, kiwi, black, white, green and brown varieties of the Hawaiian name “Iberico”. Some of the trees have even reached international fame for their unique flavors. Many Asian countries and some indigenous tropical and sub tropical countries grow the popular Asian variety of dates. These dates are harvested in the early months of the year. There are various online suppliers of dates available on the Internet today, however, before buying any type of product, it is always better to verify the suppliers credentials and check for customer reviews.